Monday, May 29, 2017

Phone Fiasco: An Unplanned S7 Review and Note 4 Disappointment.

The Short: Scroll to the bottom
The Long: Start here or go to the next article...

The future of the infinity screen *inserts sarcasm*

My dying phone was the best accident I've had.

For months, I assumed I had a bad battery in my Note 4. It would randomly die at 12% sometimes as high as 33%. I finally had enough when my phone would get me lost in the ghetto and turn off at the most inopportune moments, like the time I was trying to record a slug eating a banana. That's really important footage, also, don't tell me how to live my life!

Four hours later and three different stores helped determine the cause. Don't ask, but Chik-fil-A might have added on some time. The motherboard was failing, which would continuously zap the battery. My only option was to replace my precious Note 4, that gave me a little cone head with each selfie I took (I don't miss it). While there are features I absolutely loved on that phone, the one I'm writing this article with, does just as good a job for a fraction of the cost.

It wasn't an easy process handing over my lemon phone. Nothing compared to it in the current market. AT&T wasn't carrying anymore (they're currently on strike) Note products (probably due to of the fiasco with the batteries), and I wasn't about to spend $800.00 on a piece of tech that I had no interest in having. The best best option was submitting an insurance request for ~$120.00, and hoping I would get an alternative Note.

Well, I didn't. I was mailed a Galaxy S7 Edge. I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if I could adapt to the infinity screen. If I lathered my hands in astroglide and had a mason jar thrown at my head, it would have been less damage than what I was about to do to this poor, BRAND NEW, S7 Edge. I hadn't purchased a case for it yet because I didn't know what I was receiving, until I brought the box with me to work. Needless to say, my butterfingers took the phone out of the box. As soon as I turned it over, with the plastic still covering the phone mind you, the plastic sticky tab stuck to my finger and went tumbling to the ground. I figured this would be a good opportunity since I've dropped my phone from scaffolding, what's 2 1/2 feet with linoleum floor going to do? Apparently put a giant crack in the so called gorilla glass. Fuming angry, I grab everything and put it back in the box called for another phone to be mailed to me.

I was told I would be receiving another S7 Edge, blue. To my surprise, I received a black, S7. I thought I was downgraded to a lesser phone until I had a Viking ceremony for my Note 4. Turns out, I'm a fan!

Don't get me wrong, I miss my stylus, especially for cold weather and drawing, but if the Note 8 or the next phone with a stylus includes an infinity screen, I'm out. I'll be sticking with the S7, or converting to Apple (probably not). Just a side note, while on the phone with AT&T's customer service, the representative even agreed that these phones today, are built to last two years. So expect your tech to have failures!

With all that being said, I'm planning ahead for the next lemon phone, but very happy with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Ultimately, without the stylus and a screen size that can fit in your pocket, all a Note 4 really is, is an S7.

The Short: If your phone takes a crap, buy a Samsung Galaxy S7, unless you're an Apple fan, then I can't help you. *whispers* "They don't even have audio ports..."

Hard at work

Monday, May 22, 2017

How to Quit Drinking Soda - Day 16 from a 26 Year Old Stress Eater

The Short: Jump down to the bottom of this article for a cut and dry list how I quit soda
The Long: Start here

Before Accepting Addiction
...and reading 1400 words
or consuming approx. 10 minutes of your youth...

A soda a day, keeps the doctor paid?

That's the path I was headed. Having only been 16 days, this is the biggest step I've taken to rid soda of my life. As contractor, I live life on the road, so the normal diet includes eating at local restaurants and out of vending machines. While there is a grocery store nearby, the struggle is definitely real to prepare healthy meals including finding something to quench your thirst, when water doesn't. Maybe it's from being so dehydrated with all the excess sugar I've consumed. I've recently found celery water to be absolutely refreshing, with no seeds to accidentally swallow! At the end of this article, there's an infographic that describes exactly what dehydrates the body.

I tried to quit sugar last year and that lasted for maybe a week. If you can stomach my bland writing, you can read the old post HERE (it's kind of neat being able to see my writing transform). And while I still struggle with those beautiful diabetic crystals, I'm at least consuming less, with no more soda. Specifically Coca-Cola.

I realize 16 days isn't that much for someone who may not drink the liquid crack, but for me, it's a feat. My consumption consisted of one bottle a day, sometimes two if I was bored or stressed. If you do the math, $1.50 per bottle adds up. So far, my savings at least $24.00, AFTER 16 DAYS! At this rate, it looks like savings will total, at a minimum, $45/month. My vehicle can be filled twice with that calculation!

Saving money isn't the only driving force behind me making this decision. Every single day, I would wake up feeling as if a train hit me. Not to mention, serious cluster migraines took me out for a whole day. I'd rather have my wisdom teeth pulled than experience the pain of suicide migraines (it's a thing, look it up). This was also an experiment to determine if caffeine was related to my cluster migraines and to also combat fatigue, caused from sugar shocks.

The decision to drop the soda, was pretty simple. I bought one out of a vending machine. After drinking half of the bottle, my stomach was in knots, my digestion track instantly started attacking me. Addicted as much as I was, I realized if my body is acting this way every time, it was probably cleaning my insides just as much as it would have cleaned a penny (see video below). The same was for my precious teeth. I've only got one good set!

The half drunk soda was placed in the bottom of the fridge and a vow was made to let that be the last coke. I wish I had documented the "Quitting Soda Journey", but honestly didn't believe in myself enough that I would follow through. Hence why I kept the rest of the bottle in the bottom of the fridge, juuuuust in case.

The first couple days were EXTREMELY difficult. I had a habit of carrying change in my bag specifically for coke. Muscle memory on several occasions led me to the vending machines just to stare at them in sadness. The problem I always had was that I felt good before grabbing a Coca-Cola. A bottle later, maybe an hour or so afterward I would be reminded, I made a terrible life decision. It's not very easy to learn, when the negative side effects happen a period of time after the fact. The reason for abusing my body for 20+ years. One day you look in the mirror and hardly recognize yourself.

The second day, I was standing in a line to get through the gate to my job. The power went out, so I became bored. Needing something. Coca-Cola sounded nice. The vending machines were right next to me, so why not? Thank goodness there wasn't any power in those either. I was instantly cut off from buying one.

I've realized to change anything about myself or habits, I need to constantly think of their side effects, as if it's a chant. I have too many distractions that if I don't make the conscious effort to solely think, don't get a coke or stay consistent, I forget, if that makes any sense. It's aggravating. Maybe over time, things will be different and will be second nature to walk past the machines, but this is something I've noticed about my own body, mind, and self-control.

About 3 or 4 days in, I had another terrible migraine. I still haven't figured out the source of them, but I can only think it was a withdrawal of some sort. I felt nauseous, dizzy, and had excruciating pain behind my right eye, which is normally where cluster migraines occur. I had to take the next shift off to recover and slept about 15 hours. I woke up feeling as if  I could conquer the world. It could have been my body adjusting to reduced sugar shocks, but I'm still experimenting to make that determination. Regardless, I was closer to not needing Coca-Cola and feeling great.

Starting to become a game at work, the guys would rag on me for having that spare bottle in the bottom of the fridge. This actually helped my motivation. The more they brought it up, the more I would reject the idea of consuming such lovely acidic bubbles. A couple days ago, I finally got worked up enough to take the bottle out, shook it until it became syrup, and threw it away. As a soda snob, if it wasn't freshly carbonated, I didn't want it, and any disturbance to the force would make my face cringe at such a heinous act.

Trying to compensate another drink for coke, I resorted to coffee. Once again, I was feeling good before I even poured a glass. I decided in a 12 hour shift, I would have five! I was trembling with shakes, nauseous from the creamer and sugar intake, and bug-eyed. I thought I was going to die. This in turn, helped me resort to plain old water. I wasn't much of a coffee fan anyways.

Water isn't my only beverage choice. I acquired a couple bottles of apple juice and different flavored teas. As mentioned in the first paragraph, I've adapted to delicious celery water. Eventually I'll eliminate the sugar, or at least cut the consumption in half.

Deciding when to quit never really worked for me. I had to quit cold turkey. Don't decide on a day. You're only dragging things out and talking yourself out of it. Again, this is my experience. I also remember looking in the mirror and realizing how yellow my teeth had become. I was mortified from the staining. Quitting did become easier when I could actually read it in my daily journal from Moleskine. I could see progress each day I opened the page.

The fun stuff! Here's some other interesting articles related to soda
that will hopefully be a little motivation to put the liquid cocaine down.

An infographic on "What happens one hour after drinking a can of coke"

Coca-Cola Infographic
Coca-Cola Infographic : medicalnewstoday

Watch soda clean a penny.
In the video below, they actually use Pepsi, but this still produces the same results.
Imagine what this does to your teeth! This probably explains my receding gum line. wrote a great article on all the other uses for coke besides drinking it!

LipoNaturals - My dear friend and his company have been working close with Vitamin C as well as chemists. Check out their article on "The Dangers of the Artificial Preservative Sodium Benzoate or Potassium Benzoate with Vitamin C." Believe it or not, this is more than just soda. Kind of scary actually!

Habitbull - I'm not much of an app person, but this one is interesting. This app tracks all of your habits, even the bad ones. The reviews seem pretty good as well. I'm definitely interested in seeing shared screenshots of progress, even if it's not related to drinking soda.

And finally, ME!

With more energy, less clouded thoughts, less irritability,
and whiter teeth (compliments to the sun as well!)

The Short:
Quit Cold Turkey.
Write down your purpose.
Keep something for just in case, but make it taste horrible.
Constantly think about not having whatever it is you set your mind to.
Find a healthy alternative drink to quench your thirst. I use apple juice, celery water, and light teas.
Write down your achievements to see progress.
Make it fun by seeing how much money you save.
If you don't make your goal, try again. Failure is completely giving up. You got this.

If this article helped you, please let me know in the comments below!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Diary: Wanderlusting in the Fourth Dimension

What is the speed of magnetism? What is the speed of gravity? How do we enter the fourth dimension? Does one even exist? If we can't see it, does that mean it doesn't exist? We can't see radio waves, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

Some of the conversations I had the pleasure of being a part of tonight. Taking a step back, it's hard to scale just how big the universe is, compared to human heights and what the body, our vehicle, is capable of understanding.

"To infinity and beyond," a brilliant quote I learned from Toy Story. Multiple infinites to some people. Particularly 5 infinites have been discovered so far. To whom is willing to accept they exist.

Voodoo. While I can't prove anything, I enjoy the wanderlust of these concepts, gathering views from other people who have input on this as well. Maybe the person who has the solution to the 4th dimension is reading a book silently in a corner. Maybe the people who have answers about the God particle are eating a delicious chicken and cheese burrito, smothered in all of the hotsauce.

Have we lost all of our great thinkers? Do we have any currently? Does instant gratification and digital distractions prevent those that are genuinely curious, suppressed?

I feel like I need to know. I'm down a rabbit hole!

Please respectfully add your word vomit below on these subject matters. I want to read them!!